How can you tell when your dog or cat is ageing or becoming a senior and what changes should you make to ensure optimum health and longevity?
As dogs and cats age, gradual changes become evident. For
dogs, such signs may manifest at as early as 5 years of age in the giant
breeds, whilst small terrier breeds can remain youthful until the age of 10 or
There is not such a broad size range in cats, and most will
reach their golden years at around 8 years or so, but cats who enjoy a good
level of exercise and keep a healthy figure can often remain sprightly for much
Things to look out for include:
- A general ‘slowing down’ or notably decreased levels of
activity and stamina.
- A tendency to sleep more.
- Greying of the hair (in dogs, particularly round
- Joint stiffness (especially after cold/damp spells or
periods of rest).
- Slower reflexes.
- Diminished senses. Just as with people, hearing, vision, and
sense of smell may become less sharp.
what changes should you make as your pet approaches its senior years?
If your pet enjoys a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise,
mental stimulation and is not overweight there is no great need to make any
changes. However, it is important to be aware of the signs of ageing and be
prepared to make changes to your pet’s diet when you notice them slowing down a
Switching to a naturally hypoallergenic, high quality diet
formulated for seniors may help to support the body during age-related changes.
Look for diets with boosted levels of natural supplements
to protect the joints and additional functional
ingredients such as prebiotics
to support the digestion and immune system.
A diet containing added essential fatty acids may also be beneficial
because the omega-3s release compounds within the body that reduce
is an excellent source of omega-3 DHA and EPA.
Our Senior diets are often a great choice for aging dogs,
and we have two products to choose from – our tasty original Senior
chicken and rice based) and our Sensitive Light/Senior
(which is white fish and
For older cats we may suggest our Light
diet. These diets are lower calorie than our
maintenance products, ideal for when cats and dogs start expending less energy.
They are full of nutritious ingredients and include supplements to support the
joints, brain, digestion, skin and urinary
Do not undo all your hard work with unhealthy treats and tid
bits! Choose healthy rewards like our naturally hypoallergenic Crunchy Bites
Tasty Liver Treat
which meet the same high standards of our main diets.
For a more in depth look at aging dogs, read our full article
on feeding senior dogs by Ness Bird - Nutrition Adviser and Registered Vet Nurse
Cert CFVHNut ©.
If you have any questions related to your aging pets get in touch.